We get a lot of questions by customers that call us asking for a price quote over the phone. As long as I’ve had my tree service business, I’ve had to learn the hard way of giving pricing over the phone. It really is unfair not only to us but also to the customer getting the price quoted by phone. I’ll explain why we want to avoid any misunderstandings.
The obvious risk to giving price quotes over the phone even if the job sounds straightforward is that we can severely underestimate the customer’s job difficulty. Since we have a complex operation, we have to have a minimum charge. We have to get the truck out to the customer’s property, pay for fuel, and pay the 4 man crew to work as well along with equipment usage. Customers that want a price over the phone sometimes don’t take into consideration the initial investment that we have to make. I know it’s not their concern. But even if they took it into consideration, we have to charge some sort of minimum charge so that we can compensate for our sunk cost. Estimates though are ALWAYS FREE!
The other risk is that since we have a 4 man crew coming out to the customer’s property, under pricing a job over the phone can potentially create an atmosphere for the customer to receive a job that doesn’t meet his or her expectations. I remember one tree removal job when I just started out that I gave a bid to over the phone (rookie mistake, I know) and the customer said the job would only take me but an hour at most to remove a tree. I bid it but the customer failed to mention that the tree had grown into the chain link fence. This made it into an almost all day job. Now I know the customer didn’t purposely avoid mentioning that important piece of information. I’m sure they didn’t think it was something that would affect the job. See how this can create a potential for not meeting the customer’s expectations?
I have made it a policy to my guys that we do all estimates in person. We also try to avoid doing estimates for customers if they are not at their property. The reason for this is that we may give an estimate for an entirely wrong tree limb or the wrong number of trees. Now of course there are times when the customer can’t be there and we try our best to accommodate our customers in those situations.
We always want to provide exceptional service. I hope this explains a bit of what we go through when we get asked to just give a price over the phone. We really want to be able to get out in front of our customers and show our professionalism and our expertise for the requested work. We also don’t want to waste time by giving inaccurate tree removal or tree service estimates. I look forward to helping the residents of the Austin tree removal and Austin tree service market. Please call me personally at the office with any questions or feedback, 512-310-8789 or emails me at our tree service contact us form on the right side of any webpage within our website.